Tsuyoshi Nishioka, new Twins infielder, spotted at Origami downtown

Nishioka tries out taste of home in MN
Nishioka tries out taste of home in MN

For the Minnesota Twins, spring training starts in less than two weeks in Fort Meyers, Florida. With the harsh winter we've been having, you'd think they might make an early migration. But one brand-new Twin was embracing the cold and trying out a local restaurant this week.

On Wednesday evening, 26-year-old Japanese star Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who agreed to a three-year contract with the Twins back in mid-December, was at Origami in downtown Minneapolis enjoying the food from his home country, according to a restaurant staff member.

What did he eat and how did he behave?

Read on to find out.

Nishioka came into the Warehouse District restaurant early in the evening, around 5:30 p.m., with two Japanese associates, according to the staff member. Because the restaurant doesn't take reservations, the three men came unannounced.

"I didn't know that it was [Nishioka] until one of the waitstaff pointed it out. He was pretty buff but looked more like a judo player than a baseball player to me," she laughs. From the table's conversation, it appeared that Nishioka was looking for real estate in the Twin Cities before heading off to Fort Meyers.

Looking at what he selected for dinner--nabeyaki udon, thick wheat noodles cooked in hot-pot with vegetables, shrimp tempura, and a poached egg all in steaming broth--it seems like he is working on adjusting to the cold temperature. The choice may not be surprising for this noodle-loving baseball star who recently told Japanese newspaper Asahi Shinbun that he's packing his favorite ramen with him.

And unlike reality TV celebrity Bob Harper, who made news in a local restaurant this week, Nishioka cleaned his plate and left the restaurant without ever revealing himself.

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